Virginia Yonkers’ latest blog post introduces a concept that is new to me, where membership of a community is legitimised predominantly by language. Reflecting on ongoing analysis of her research into distributed groups, she suggests expertise might be defined by profession, department or organisational power structures, and goes on to describe the tensions that arise when there is conflict between these different discourse communities, and how they might be resolved.
Posts Tagged ‘virginia yonkers’
In her lengthy response to a previous post of mine, Virginia Yonkers offers further insight into how we perceive social networks and communities. I was particularly struck with her take on how social engagement evolves through maturity into adulthood and more defined societal and professional environments:
“Looking at educational development, teens and young adults tend to have more superficial relationships as they are still creating their identity. Regardless of what tools are available, or even what culture you are looking at, teens will belong to multiple communities. As we age, however, and our identity is established, either by profession, culture, religion, local community, or a larger global community, we tend to limit those organizations and communities we join or are actively engaged in. This happens with or without technology.”
This seems to me to offer a much more astute perspective with which we might try to understand engagement with the social web than many accounts that focus on generational differences determined by technological competencies or psychological wiring. Though I would argue that our identity is never fully ‘established’ as such (as that would almost suggest we stop learning), recognising the learning trajectory as a process of identity formation that is situated and socially and culturally negotiated resonates with many of the conceptual ideas I am exploring.